Leaving to Stay

Well, here we go! We’ve been planning our 2½ month-long cross country trip since this past March. How in the world did we end up with this plan? And how in the world are we actually going through with it?

It’s a bold move to both quit your jobs, move out of your apartment and in with your (extremely giving, accommodating, and generous) mother-in-law, and just head off into the sunset with some camping gear and two open hearts ready for adventure. Is bold the right word? Depending on your life view, your relationship with us, and probably what generation you come from, you could substitute bold with any of brash, exciting, naive, spirited, reckless, determined, self-indulgent, or any other adjective you see fit. Regardless of what kind of a move this is, it’s a big one. Big for us anyway. But what it isn’t is a move out of state.

We love hiking those West Virginia mountains! Here’s us at Blackwater Falls in 2015.

We had planned on moving out of state since the last year of working toward our graduate and law degrees. We wanted to explore and to broaden our horizons. This, of course, comes from us both having lived our entire lives in West Virginia. And guess what? We both love West Virginia. We both love the beauty and the people. And the traditions. And the rich history, and the culture, and the list could go on and on. But we want to explore. We are in our 20’s after all. We want to be enlightened by other people and other places and be humbled at how small we are and how little we know about the world.

But guess what else? West Virginia needs young people right now. You can see more about my feelings on that in an upcoming blog post, where we’ll be featuring my article from the amazing UpThink email series by Generation West Virginia! West Virginia needs young people and in fact, it just needs people, period. I have personally been very lucky to begin my career getting swept up in the movement to improve West Virginia. Working with Inspire WV, I’ve had the privilege of meeting some amazing people: students across the state who are excited and determined to make a difference, young professionals who are being intentional about celebrating the beauty of our state and our people, and finally, people of all ages who are willing to come together to show a dedication to this state and to be creative, diligent, and deliberate about how we can move West Virginia into the future it deserves, the future that West Virginians deserve.

‘If these kids are planning on camping across the country, they must have some good camping skills, huh?’ Nope! Here’s us putting a tent up for the very first time in my mom’s back yard. Success!

Getting swept up in this movement has meant so much to me as a professional, as a young West Virginian, and as a person who cares about changing the world for the better. A fortune cookie once told me:

“In order to change the world, start in your community.”

I’m ready to do just that. And I feel such gratitude at having such a great community to work with – a community with fun, loving, down-to-earth people; a community with natural beauty everywhere you look; a community that is truly rich with culture, history, and most importantly, a unique and bright potential.

We’re leaving to stay. We’re headed off on an adventure so that we can broaden our horizons and be humbled at our smallness in this great nation. We’re leaving so that we can become more well-rounded people. But all in all, we’re staying. We’re staying to continue the momentum that we’ve gained in joining the movement to improve this great state. We’re staying so we can keep the amazing connections we’ve been lucky to make throughout the state with great people doing invaluable things. We’re staying so that we can invest ourselves in this amazing community and so that we can work with others to bring about West Virginia’s revitalization.

We are so excited about this cross country trek, which begins the first weekend of August! Keep up with this blog to follow our travels. We’ll regularly write about the places we see and the people we meet. And you know we’ll include pictures. So…here we go! Today is our day. We’re off to great places! We’re off and away!

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